Ag News: Food & Farm System Weaknesses and Organic Strawberry $$
**The pandemic, natural disasters, and cybersecurity breaches have revealed deep weaknesses in our food and farm systems recently.
Following statements from the USDA last week, National Farmers Union President Rob Larew, highlighted the need to build resilience to future disruptions and offered recommendations to achieve that goal.
To fix system-wide breakdowns, Larew is urging USDA to "vigorously enforce existing antitrust, competition, and market fairness laws," strengthen local and regional food infrastructure, and aggressively mitigate and adapt to climate change.
**Organic strawberry sales topped $760 million in 2019, 12.3% of total retail berry sales.
According to www.thepacker.com, IRI data shows marketers moved more than 13.7 million pounds of berries in 2019.
One third of all strawberry buyers said they opt for organic at least some of the time, while 14% always chose organic.
Age is a factor in organic strawberry purchases with shoppers under 40 sometimes two or three times more likely than older consumers, to always buy organic.
**Farmers growing food on small plots of urban ground will suffer from the extreme drought, according to University of California farm advisors.
UC Cooperative Extension says water rationing and surcharges imposed in past droughts proved a significant problem for certain urban farms and community gardens.
The report recommended that cities and counties provide “affordable, consistent water prices” for urban agriculture.